March 2018 Newsletter
Like the Spring season, our March newsletter is a little late! We apologize and hope to be back on track next month! However, the promise of warmer Spring weather is definitely on the way! We look forward to our region starting to come alive with the beauty and bounty of Spring flowers, plants and crops.

The Chamber is also coming alive and looks forward to several events and initiatives that will be blooming in the coming weeks and months. Be sure to read about our new Cohase Cash initiative in this newsletter and mark your calendar for our annual Spring Regional Breakfast at the Colatina Exit scheduled for May 9, 2018. Spring also signals the first Paddle the Border for 2018 which this year is scheduled for Sunday, May 20th. To follow up on our recent Business After Hours event and our Social Media 101 workshop, we are planning another Business After Hours in Bradford in May/June and a Data Security workshop in May! More details to follow about each of these events as details are finalized.

Also, thanks to Monique Priestley of mepriestley LLC for upgrading our WEB site. Although not apparent to the naked eye, our WEB site was in dire need of upgrading and it now looks and functions much better. We are still making some final tweaks but look forward to your feedback and suggestions!

Be well and enjoy the imminent arrival of Spring!

Erik

Erik Volk
Executive Director
Upcoming Events
Please visit our WEB page at www.cohase.org for more details on any of these events and a listing of other events in our area.

April 2 - Mission Blue, First Monday Movie, Colatina Exit, Bradford, VT
April 4 - Paint & Sip, Room 111 @ Victory Lanes, Woodsville, NH
April 6 - RaiZed on Radio, Room 111 at Victory Lane, Woodsville, NH
April 7 - Variety Show & Cafe, Piermont Village School, Piermont, NH
April 7 - Green Mountain Mega Spring Meltdown, Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee, VT
April 8 - De Temps Antan, Court Street Arts, Haverhill Corner, NH
April 12-15 - Jack & The Beanstalk Bandstand Dinner Theater, North Haverhill United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, North Haverhill, NH
April 13-14 - Creating a Greater Haverhill, Haverhill Coop Middle School, North Haverhill, NH
April 14 - Patrick Ross Childrens' Concert, Oxbow High School, Bradford, VT
April 16 - Game Night, Colatina Exit, Bradford, VT
April 21 - Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards, Court Street Arts, Haverhill Corner, NH
April 22 - 3rd Annual Oxbow Mud Run and Family Health & Safety Day, Bradford, VT
April 27 - Kite Day (plus Ice Cream Sundaes), Bradford, VT
May 4 - The Fellers, A Cohase Rotary Club Fundraiser, Haverhill Corner, NH
May 9 - Cohase Chamber Regional Business Breakfast, Colatina Exit, Bradford, VT
May 19 - Clara Martin Center 2nd Annual Color Splash, Thetford Academy, Thetford, VT
May 19 - Justin McKinney Comedy, Court Street Arts, Haverhill Corner, NH
May 20 - Paddle the Border, Woodsville Community Field, Woodsville, NH
Member Moment - World Cup Supply, Inc.
This month we were pleased to speak to Brad Williams, owner of World Cup Supply, Inc. World Cup Supply is a leading supplier of products to the ski racing, resort and event industries. World Cup Supply is located at 226 Industrial Drive in Bradford, Vermont. You can reach them via phone at (802) 449-3103, by email at info@worldcupsupply.com or online at worldcupsupply.com or on Facebook.

What does World Cup Supply sell and what makes it a special and unique company?

World Cup Supply (WCS) sells infrastructure equipment to ski resorts, ski racing teams, event organizers in the US, Canada and other countries around the world. Essentially, we can provide everything you see at a ski resort that isn’t mechanized; fencing, padding, rope, signs, and much more. For the race world we offer everything required for teams and clubs to train and race. From gates to b-net to athlete bibs, we are pretty much a one stop shop for race related equipment. On the event side, we really focus on athlete identification (running numbers, etc.) and crowd control fencing. Oddly enough a number of our products even cross over to the construction industry.

What is unique about WCS is that there are very few companies that specifically address the needs of the resort and race market as we do. We are also a company whose image belies its size. Many are surprised to hear there are 8 of us working at WCS given our presence and reputation in the industry. To some extent we are a hybrid distributor. We have been a partner with an Italian Company, SPM for over 25 years and they provide us with a significant amount of our product offering related to the resort and ski racing market. We are SPM’s largest customer in this product category, outselling our fellow distributors all over the globe. We’re pretty proud of that.

We are also the only company in the US that offers certain types of safety related products for skiing, ski racing and other action sports The best example of that is A-net which is the fixed netting hung form towers on the side of a trail that is used for speed events like downhill or super-G. We done 6 A-net installations over the past 10 years, all over the country. WCS also provides event services which means we will go to an event with product that we install and manage during the event. Air pads using in alpine ski racing and bike racing are good examples of that.

I think our workplace culture also makes us special, if not unique. We have a family feel to our office and while there are job titles per se, everyone gets involved in pretty much everything at one point or another. 

When did World Cup Supply start and how did you get involved?

Penny Sirjane and Donna Richardson purchased the SPM distributorship in 1991 and moved the business to Donna’s house in Thetford VT. Shipments of gates would arrive from Italy and the two sisters would trudge them up to the barn where they were stored. Often times they had to pull outgoing shipments down the driveway in a sled because the UPS truck could not make it up the hill. The business moved to space in front of Britton Lumber and remained there for 17 years or so. We moved to our new location in the Pearson Industrial Park three years ago where we now occupy approximately 7500 square feet of combined office and warehouse space.  For many years the business was focused 100% on ski racing, but over time the product offering expanded to include resort and event supplies with the resulting expansion of our vendor base as well.

I became involved in WCS in 2006 when I was looking for the next ‘adventure’ in my life. I had a varied past with stints in the financial services industry and the retail catalog world. At that time the sisters were looking for a partner and someone who could help grow the business . Since that time we have more than doubled our annual sales which is impressive given the niche market we sell to and the small number players that we compete against. The business was extremely attractive to me personally given my passion for skiing and interest in the industry in general. Both Donna and Penny have since left WCS and I became the sole owner in 2016.

What has been the main driver of the growth you referred to?

We were fortunate to be involved with the development and introduction of the only real innovation in race gate technology in the past 30+ years. The BrushGrip base was invented by MBW Technologies in 2008, and as a partner in that business I was in a position to bring the product to WCS. The new base replaced the traditional screw base and made life for coaches significantly easier than it was before. We were able to capture market share from our competition because of the base and our patent protection proved instrumental in preventing knock-offs from coming to market. It is safe to say that we currently sell to over 90% of the ski racing clubs, academies, college teams, etc. in the US and certain provinces in Canada and 100% of our gate sales are with the BrushGrip base. As a point of reference, there were over 100,000 BrushGrip bases sold worldwide in the 2016/17 season. We have also seen an appreciable increase in sales through the design and installation of A-net systems at alpine race venues in the US. These jobs are substantial and involve months of planning and several weeks to install. The end result is alpine speed venues that meet the requirements for the highest levels of competition and are safe for all athletes who train and race on them. 

Our commitment to service and our helping our customers has also been a contributing factor to our growth. We are told repeatedly by customers who have ‘defected’ to us that the primary reason they made the switch to WCS is not only the quality of our products, but the level of service and expertise they get from all of our staff. As you can imaging the ski racing world and ski industry in general is a small ‘club’ where reputation and integrity are very important. We work to be very strong on those two areas.

Has the move to Bradford been a positive one for the business?

Without question the move to our new location has been one of the best things to happen to WCS since the BrushGrip base. We now have a facility that meets our needs, and will do so for the foreseeable future. It was super to be able to take a shell of a building and make it into what we wanted. The remodel and improvements were a significant investment for the business, but well worth it. The town of Bradford is wonderful to have around the corner as well. Pretty much everything and anything we could want or need is nearby and all of our dealing with other local businesses have been wonderful. The location is great too as our staff commutes from St Johnsbury to the north, Hartford to the south and Plymouth, NH to the east. 
 
New COHASE CASH Initiative!
We recently announced its new “Cohase Cash” contest which will give the public a chance to win $100 for supporting local member businesses. We are hoping this initiative will not only reward the public for frequenting local businesses but will also benefit local businesses with new patrons, increase exposure for our Business Directory and recirculate winnings back into our community. The program requires no effort on the part of our members other than helping us spread the word!

The initial contest will run from April 2, 2018 through April 28th, 2018 and the Chamber plans to continue the program, if successful. The winner will be selected by random drawing on Friday, May 4. The prize monies must be spent at Chamber member businesses and the winner will select the business(es) where
they wish to redeem their winnings. 

Members will visit our online directory to determine which businesses are currently Chamber members. Please note that only members who have paid their 2018 dues (or notified us with other payment arrangements) will be included in the online Directory. If you have not yet paid your dues and/or have not notified us with alternate payment arrangements, please do so ASAP! We will update the directory frequently during the contest period as we receive membership renewals.

To enter, participants must submit five receipts or proofs of purchase from five separate member businesses representing transactions that occurred between April 2 and April 28. Receipts can be emailed to cohasechamber@gmail.com , texted to (802) 518-0030, uploaded at our WEB site or mailed to PO Box 35, Wells River, VT 05081. Submissions must be accompanied by the submitter’s name, email address, mailing address and phone number. Multiple submissions are allowed as long as each receipt is from a different business. Receipts of any amount from any member business are acceptable. This includes not only retail businesses but also restaurants, service businesses, banks, insurance companies, fuel providers, non-profit donations, farm share purchases and medical providers. Receipts must contain at a minimum, the business name, the date of the transaction and the amount of purchase. Entrants are free to black out personal or other identifiable information, if needed. To find out more about this new initiative, click here.
Social Media 101 Workshop - A Sellout Crowd!
Our Social Media 101 workshop held on March 15, 2018 (after a snow reschedule) was a great success! We had a full house with 25 attendees who learned how to use Social Media effectively in their business. The workshop was presented by Compass Consulting Agency (CCA), a division of the Marketing Association of Plymouth State University (MAPS). The four students who presented did an awesome job and made themselves available for questions afterwards as well. Attendees also were treated to delicious muffins from Pamela's Pantry in Newbury, Vermont as well as coffee from Upper Valley Coffee Roasters in Newbury, VT along with other snacks and beverages. We look forward to having them back in the future for another informative seminar. Thanks so much to River Bend Career & Technical Center for hosting our workshop! To learn more about Compass Consulting Agency and MAPS, click here.
Presenters Stelios Eleftheriou and Derek Hill.
Presenters Kylee-Anne Drew and Adrianna Cudia
Business After Hours - Wells River Savings Bank
Thank you so much to Wells River Savings Bank for hosting our most recent Business After Hours event on March 15, 2018. Between 25 and 30 people were in attendance for a festive gathering and a fun chance to network and enjoy some delicious food and drink. Wells River Savings Bank put on a festive St. Patrick's Day display including green beer! The Cohase Chamber of Commerce has continued to promote these events as a valuable opportunity for businesses to network and socialize in an informal atmosphere. We plan to continue to hold one Business After Hours a quarter for 2018 and beyond.
Member News
  • A warm welcome to our newest Chamber members! They include The Space on Main, Inc. (Bradford, VT), World Cup Supply (Bradford, VT), Tuttle’s Family Diner (Wells River, VT) and Ledyard National Bank (Hanover, NH). Welcome and we appreciate your support!
  • The Clara Martin Center with offices in Bradford, Vermont is excited to announce their 2nd Annual Color Splash 5K set for Saturday, May 19, 2018. Walkers and runners will enjoy the scenic trails at Thetford Academy’s elite cross country trail while being doused with non-toxic colored powder to help raise awareness for mental health and addiction recovery services. For more information visit www.claramartin.org.
  • Tuttle’s Family Diner in Wells River, Vermont is open and buzzing with activity! Located in the former location of River’s Edge Eatery, they are currently considering expanding to offer convenience store items in the former pharmacy space.
  • Odell Insurance recently presented a $500 2018 Community Grant award to Monique Priestley and The Space on Main Inc. in Bradford from Co-Operative Insurance that was also matched by the Odell Insurance Agency. If you don’t know about the Space On Main, Inc. a community-based coworking space and makerspace site in the former location of Hills Five and Dime in downtown Bradford, check them out at www.thespaceonmain.org! Construction is moving forward and exciting things are happening!
  • Wells River Savings Bank recently announced their “Find Frank and Friends” contest on Facebook. Each month, a photo of a mystery location is posted. Each monthly winner will receive a $10 gift card. For more information and full rules, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WellsRiverSavingsBank
  • The Newbury Health Clinic is looking for an experienced biller/bookkeeper for their small busy family medicine office. Candidate must be competent with Quickbooks, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word. Compensation does not include insurance but numerous paid holidays and earned time after 3 months. Generous retirement matching as well. Send cover letter and resume to PO Box 37, Newbury, VT 05051.
  • The Old Church Theater in Bradford, Vermont is seeking actors to audition for their June Play Pride@Prejudice and their July play Stepmother. Auditions for Pride@Prejudice will be on April 7 & 8 at 2 PM and auditions for Stepmothers will be on April 6 & 7 at 6 PM. Both auditions will be held at 176 Waits River Road in Bradford (just past Farmway.) Actors of all ages are needed. For more information, visit their WEB site at www.oldchurchtheater.org.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Maria Ryan, CEO of Cottage Hospital in Woodsville, NH for being recognized as one of the 50 Rural Hospital CEOs to know for 2018 by the prestigious Becker’s Hospital Review. Dr. Ryan continues to be recognized regionally and nationally for her excellent leadership at Cottage Hospital.
  • Camp Walt Whitman in Piermont, NH has announced their Camp Walt Whitman 70th Reunion for Saturday, July 28th from 10 AM-5PM. More details will follow but be sure to keep up to date on their Facebook page as well as their WEB site at www.campwalt.com.
  • The Newbury Veterinary Clinic would like to remind pet owners that although National Poison Prevention Week (March 18-24) is officially over, it is not too late to order a free Safety pack from the ASPCA Poison Control Center. The free pack provides you with window decals, magnets and other items and information in case your pet gets into something he/she shouldn’t! To order your pack, click here.